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The Blue Jackets Make Warrior Wishes Come True!

After taking a day off to celebrate Xander’s 4th birthday, my dad hit the road again for a quick trip to the east coast to make wishes come true in Columbus, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh & Cleveland.

I dropped him off at the train station at 4:15am Friday morning so he could catch his 6:10 greyhound bus to Columbus.

Snow & ice delayed the trip a little but, but he arrived in Columbus at 3:45pm, just in time to meet up with the warriors for dinner at Gordon Biersch before the game.

Today we had the honor of hosting Army Sgt Joe Schiefer & Marine Ryan O’Connor at the Blue Jackets game. We had hoped to host more, but the dangerous road conditions prevented all the warriors from attending…

Gordon Biersch once again provided a delicious pregame meal for the warriors. They had hosted us last year in Columbus & we are thankful for their partnership! We encourage you to stop by the next time you’re in town. It’s the perfect place to fill up before and after all Blue Jackets games!

My dad enjoyed getting to know Ryan & Joe over dinner. Both of them have been doing a lot of work for veterans here Ohio and even had worked for a local Congressman. My dad also congratulated Joe after he learned that he will be getting married in 2 weeks! Before making their way into the stadium, My dad presented the warriors with new Blue Jackets caps along with thank you cards & letters from school children.

They stopped to take some pictures outside the stadium and noticed the snow was really coming down. My dad checked the forecast which was now calling for 3-5 inches!

Ryan & Joe got to celebrate an early goal by the Blue Jackets but not much else… the Canucks scored 4 unanswered goals in the final 2 periods to put the game “on ice.” They went on to beat the Blue Jackets by the score of 5-2.

Despite the loss, it was a great night. The warriors enjoyed the experience even though their team fell short.

As they left Nationwide Arena my dad realized that he may have to spend the night at the Columbus Greyhound Station and was concerned about our warriors driving home in a blizzard… my dad was supposed to be taking an overnight bus to Philadelphia to make wishes come true at the Eagles playoff game tomorrow, however, there were cots all over the greyhound station & he quickly found out his bus was in fact cancelled….

The good news is that Joe & Ryan both made it home safe!

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank Gordon Biersch for providing the Pre Game meal, New Era for providing Blue Jacket Caps and the kids of Clinton and Ridge View Schools for providing letters to the warriors.

Most importantly, thanks to Army Sgt Joe Schiefer, Army Sgt Tony Robinson, Army Sgt Aaron Barnhardt and Marine Ryan O’Connor for their service to our country!

Stay tuned to see if my dad gets out of Columbus in time to make wishes come true at Sunday’s Steelers game!

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The Blue Jackets Make Warrior Wishes Come True!

My dad has been on the road making Warrior Wishes come true since last Thursday.  He’s made stops in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, New York, Philadelphia, Boston & Washington DC.  

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For the 7th time in 8 days, my dad took another overnight bus & arrived in Columbus, Ohio on Friday afternoon.  

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This is our first ever visit to Columbus to make Warrior Wishes come true at the Blue Jackets game!

We have done a couple Ohio State games in the past, but neither were home game in Columbus.  One of them was the BCS National Championship Game in 2015.

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Upon arrival after his 10 hour bus ride, my dad had some time to explore the “new city” and figure out where he was going, since he had never been there before.  He stopped by the Ohio State campus & found his way to Nationwide Arena, home to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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This was the first day in the past 9 days that my dad got a “day off” as the Blue Jackets game wasn’t until Saturday.  But if you recall a few days back, when my dad was making wishes come true at the Rangers game, my dad learned that the USA Warriors hockey team was going to be in Columbus playing a game today!

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So instead of just getting a hotel and resting up, he spent his “day off” cheering on the USA warriors hockey team!  He enjoyed watching Army CPL Johnny Laursen defend the goal!  

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In addition to seeing Johnny again, My dad also got to see Kevin Gatson as well.  Kevin was our guest to the Penguins game last week.  He too plays for the USA Warriors sled team.  My dad enjoyed seeing them, as well as all of the players on the USA Warriors team who we have come to know over past few years.

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 After the game, my dad joined the USA warriors at their “after party” where he met up with our friend Shawn “Whodeybaby” Moore. Shawn himself is a veteran.  He is the Cincinnati Bengals most iconic Super fan.  He and the Bengal Bomb Squad have been making warrior wishes come true since 2012.   They have also raised money for our mission.  Shawn lives in Columbus & couldn’t pass up the opportunity to meet up with some of the Warriors and my dad.  My dad said he hardly recognized him without his face paint & bengals gear.

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After the party, my dad finally got to sleep in a bed at a hotel.  Yes, you read that correctly, he actually got a hotel for the first time in 10 days…  I got lucky & “named my own price” to get a hotel for $60. My dad couldn’t pass it up.  Needless to say, he slept like a baby!

He woke up the next morning & made his way down to the lobby to realize he was actually staying at the Flyers hotel.  He was able to talk to a few of the players and coaches about our mission.

Thanks to our friends at Gordon Biersch, located right outside the stadium, My dad met up with all the Warriors & a very special Gold Star family before the game.  

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We were honored to be hosting Army warriors,  Sgt Aaron Barnhardt, Sgt Tony Robinson, Sgt Joe Schiefer, and Sgt First Class Daniel Jensen along with the Gold Star family of Army Sgt Arthur Mora.

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Lunch was awesome as everyone had a great time getting to know each other over a delicious meal.  My dad also distributed some awesome patriotic Blue Jackets Caps from our friends at Ner Era.  We can’t thank Gordon Biersch & New Era for their continued partnerships!

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After everyone finished lunch, they made their way to “Nationwide Arena” in their new Caps to take a few pictures in front of the stadium before heading inside.  

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Once inside the stadium, everyone made their way to great seats provided by the team & they watched a defensive battle between the Flyers & Blue Jackets.  Despite the lack of scoring, there was no shortage of action as both teams fought early and often.  Everyone enjoyed watching the teams “duke it out.” In the end, the Blue Jackets came out on top scoring the only goal of the game and sent everyone home happy!

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I think it’s safe to say, our inaugural Columbus trip to see the Blue Jackets was an incredible success!  My dad said the city of Columbus was great & he looks forward to making more wishes come true there again in the future!  

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Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank, the Columbus Blue Jackets organization for providing an unforgettable experience at Nationwide Arena!  We also want to thank Valerie & Stuart at Gordon Biersch for providing the pregame meal & New Era for hooking up the Warriors with the awesome Blue Jackets caps!  

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TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

Most importantly, we want to thank Army Warriors Aaron Barnhardt, Tony Robinson, Joe Schiefer & Daniel Jensen as well as the Gold Star Family of Army SGT Arthur Mora.  Your service and sacrifices are appreciated, they have not gone unnoticed and will never be forgotten!  

After the game, My dad said his goodbyes to both our guests and the USA Warriors hockey team, who were also at the game.  Thankfully for my dad, it was an early game which meant my dad could catch an early bus home and sleep in his own bed after being on the road making wishes come true at 11 games in the past 11 days!   He will have a week off before heading back out on the road to kick off our Battlefields to Ballfields mission!  Stay tuned for more details!

2017 Battlefields To Ballfields Schedule

MEET THE WARRIORS

ARMY SGT ARTHUR MORA

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SGT Arthur A. Mora, Jr. of Fort Stewart, GA, and formerly of Pico Rivera, CA.  SGT Mora made the Ultimate Sacrifice on October 19, 2005, while serving on active duty in the U.S. Army in Balad, Iraq, where he had been deployed since July 2005.

He was born March 16, 1982, in Monterey Park, CA, to the late Arthur A. Mora, Sr. and Sylvia M. (Ramos) Mora, and a 2000 graduate of El Rancho High School, Pico Rivera, CA. Arthur enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2000 and was assigned to the 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, GA. – Legacy.com

He grew up on the rough and tough streets of East Los Angeles. All around him were gangs, drug addicts, alcoholics, and trouble. Knowing that this was not the life for him he made his choice at the young age of 5 to join the Army and be a soldier like his Grandpa.” – submitted by family.

Source – http://www.travismanion.org/hero/sgt-arthur-a-mora-usa/

SFC DANIEL JENSEN

SFC Jensen is a native of Minneapolis, MN and graduated from Lehigh Senior High School in 2003. He attended The University of South Florida and Graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree in History in 2011. He joined the U.S. Army Reserve in 2003 as a 92A Automated Logistical Specialist and graduated BCT from Ft. Jackson, South Carolina and AIT from Ft. Lee, Virginia. SFC Jensen’s assignments have been 212th Quartermaster Company in Arden Hills, MN, 810th Military Police Company in Tampa, FL as the PLL Clerk, Minneapolis BN as a Recruiter and now in Highland Ridge as a Center Leader.

SFC Jensen’s Professional Development and Schools are as follows: Senior Leader Course, Advanced Leader Course, Primary Leadership Development Course, Center Leader Course and the Army Recruiting Course.

Among his military awards and decorations are: Army Commendation Medal (3rd Award), Army Achievement Medal (2nd Award), Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, Noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon with Numeral 3, Armed Forces Reserve Medal (“M” Device and Bronze Hourglass), Iraq Campaign Medal (3 Campaign Stars), Overseas Service Ribbon Numeral 2, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Drivers Badge (Wheeled), Sharpshooter Marksmanship Badge and The Army Recruiting Badge.

ARMY WARRIOR TONY ROBINSON

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My name is Tony Robinson at the age of 18 I was living with my best friend Joe we weren’t really going anywhere in life one day we were sitting around and we watch recruiting videos for the Army we seen one video in particular that caught our eye it was the video for a 19 Delta Cavalry Scout we both thought that sounded really awesome so within the next few days we are at the recruiter’s office and then off to MEPS before we knew it We join under the Buddy program but it didn’t end up going that way and i would leave just a few weeks before Joe we would later run into each other again at Fort Knox Kentucky where we were doing our osut training that was the last time we would see each other during our Enlistment. From there I went to the 2nd Infantry Division 8th Squadron 1st Cavalry Regiment at Fort Lewis Washington I’ve been deployed to Afghanistan as part of the first-ever Stryker Brigade there that was in 2009 I was there until July of 2010 and I got out of the army December 31st 2010 completing my 4 year contract from there I become a security guard not really sure what I wanted to do in life and once again I was bored sitting around watching TV and I found myself watching a show called lock up and I decided I wanted to be a corrections officer and that was back in 2011 I’ve now been a corrections officer for the state of Ohio for five years.